Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene may not be attacking in the air but is improving stats
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene has shown improvements.
The Detroit Tigers were hoping that outfielder Riley Greene could lift off in 2023 and really find a way to come out and impress. Things did not exactly go great right out of the gate. He was scuffling to get things done at the dish at a better rate than in his rookie campaign.
At the end of April, Co-Expert Matthew Scheidel wrote a piece about the Detroit Tigers outfielder and what might be the issue for his struggles to start the 2023 season. He hinted at Greene's ability to drive the ball in the air and the ability to do damage pull-side in the air specifically.
One of the numbers he mentioned was an average launch angle of 4.2. Since then, things have not improved; in fact, it's only 1.7, according to Baseball Savant, which is well below where he was in 2022, being 2.8 in his rookie campaign.
While Greene's launch angle has not improved a whole lot, the Tigers outfielder has improved his overall statistics and been able to just do damage in the batters' box. He has improved his slash line up to .270/.319/.389 with a BABIP of .383 on the season.
It has to be great for the Tigers to see Greene finding a way to get it done in the batters' box. The improving stats are great; frankly, he can live off hard-hit groundballs if he's getting on base. While doing damage in the air and better home run numbers would be great, no need to be picky.
Looking at his spray chart, his home runs and best contact has been working to the opposite field, which is certainly not a bad thing. But trying to work pull-side with better quality of contact is still something to hope for as the season continues.
But seeing Greene find ways on base and do damage when he takes the bat off his shoulder is impressive. There's plenty to like with Greene and his operation in the batters' box, and the increase in performance has to be great.
Who knows, maybe the mustache Greene has been rocking really has been the good luck charm. He had been joking with the media that the mustache was a way to switch things up and break a cold streak, and lately, things have been looking up for the 22-year-old outfielder.
The Tigers should have to hope he can continue improving his performance as the 2023 season continues on.